In their newest duo show artists Dana Ellyn and Matt Sesow explore the spirit and soul of Washington, DC through its neighborhood bars. Whether chatting and sipping at the Black Squirrel, Madam’s Organ, or The Standard both artists draw inspiration from the people and places that host our teachers, Representatives, artists, lawyers, bureaucrats, entrepreneurs and the rest of us. “Heck, we love drinking, we love painting and we love DC. It’s PERFECT!”
Art is Dana’s way of telling stories with themes as varied as mythology, religion, feminism, politics and the American Dream. Dana’s paintings are at once playful, morbid, endearing, ironic, menacing, and intoxicating. All of these emotions are released as a liberation in her work. She plays the role of social realist, caricaturist, satirist and expressionist in her visually arresting canvases, often referencing artistic and cultural motifs as varied as Alfred Hitchcock, Picasso, Fairy Tales, Mexican Folk Art and Charlotte’s Web.
Dana Ellyn is a Washington, DC based artist who has painted full time for over 10 years. She graduated from the George Washington University with a degree in Art History and Fine Art in 1992. She has exhibited throughout the United States and abroad, most recently in Baltimore, Maryland; Barcelona, Spain; Norfolk, Virginia; Casablanca, Morocco; Westhampton, New York; and Washington DC. This is her second show with Adah Rose Gallery.
There is a lexicon of iconography to the work of Matt Sesow. Bunnies, breasts, scars, airplanes, teeth, angels and dogs all recall an aspect of the artist’s past and emotional life. His work is authentic and humanistic, referencing the ideas of artists such as Jean Dubuffet, Keith Haring, and Jean Michel Basquiat, in the style of Art Brut. Matt paints to make visible his inner turmoil, social commentary and pure pleasure of expression. The allegory in Matt’s paintings evolve from his own personal trauma and his many travels through countries such as Spain, China and Costa Rica. Matt is a self taught painter who uses his art for both political expression and to convey the suffering of the disenfranchised. HIs paintings are powerful, savage and intuitive.
Matt Sesow has painted full time for over 10 years. He lives and works in his studio in Adams Morgan, in Washington, DC. He is extremely prolific and has won numerous artist residencies and exhibited in over 30 solo and group shows throughout the United States and abroad. This is his second show with Adah Rose Gallery.